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'A 1-in-50 million catch': Rare split-colored lobster finds new home at Maine marine science center

Back in February, the same center became home to a one-in-30 million rare yellow lobster affectionately named Banana.

BIDDEFORD, Maine — The University of New England’s Marine Science Center in Biddeford is home to another rare lobster.

The split-colored lobster came to UNE late last week thanks to a donation by Eric Payne from Inland Seafood Corporation, one of the leading packers of Maine lobster, according to a release from UNE public relations strategist Chris Rose.

Rose said the half-orange, half-brown crustacean is considered to be a one-in-50 million catch. By comparison, blue lobsters are one-in-two million and Albino lobsters are the rarest at one-in-100 million, Rose said.

You may recall that back in February, UNE became home to a one-in-30 million rare yellow lobster affectionately named Banana.

“We are honored that local lobstermen entrust these rare animals to UNE’s Marine Science Center where we will use them in our teaching and outreach activities,” Markus Frederich, Ph.D., assistant professor of marine sciences at UNE, said in Monday's release. “Our research on lobsters and climate change, funded by the National Science Foundation, highlights the importance of these charismatic creatures.”

Rose said UNE is sharing an $860,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and Hood College in Maryland to study the impact that a warming Gulf of Maine is having on lobster larvae and their success in growing to adulthood.

UNE is now searching to find the best name for the newest resident of the Marine Science Center. Since it is a split lobster and will be housed with Banana, Rose said some have suggested “Banana Split.”

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